Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes

If you are like me, no matter the size of your kitchen, when Thanksgiving rolls around, it never seems big enough. There are never enough cooking surfaces, oven space or counter space to fit all of the dishes you are hoping to serve piping hot, at the same time for your Thanksgiving feast.
So many dishes, so little space.
Enter the humble and oft forgotten slow cooker. Dump the potatoes in,  add a little water and salt. and in about 4 hours. BAM. You're in business.

It really is that simple.
Why didn't I think of this years ago??
Why doesn't my keypad have multiple emojis so I can insert the - bewildered, embarrassed, and now totally happy emoji  face parade??!! I'm sure you can picture those faces.
Happy days are here again my friends.
One less dish to keep warm on the stove or in the oven!
Happy cooking.
Here's a fantastic gravy recipe to go with your mashed potatoes- Simple Pan Gravy
PS are you following on INSTAGRAM? Look to the right, see the icon?  If not, do it. now. You'll be glad you did. Next week, I'm partnering with Harmons and 4 other bloggers to bring you original recipes for a delicious holiday meal AND  a big giveaway just in time for your multiple trips to the grocery store!

Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

5 lbs red potatoes, scrubbed, cut into fourths (I leave the peels on)
3/4 cup water
2 teaspoons salt
1/2- 3/4 cup butter, cut into tablespoons
half and half, about 1 1/2 -2 cups
1 cup sour cream (optional)
pepper and more salt if needed

Place potatoes in large 6-7 quart slow cooker or crock pot. Pour in water. Sprinkle salt over potatoes.
Place lid on slow cooker and set on high heat. Don't lift the lid! Cook for about 4 hours.
Leaving the insert (bowl) in the slowcooker do the following:
Do not drain the potatoes. Place the butter in with the potatoes. Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes and butter together.  Add the half and half (about 1 1/2 cups). Continue to mash until desired consistency. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of half and half,  if needed.  Add sour cream (if using) and mix well. Taste and add more salt and a little pepper if desired.
Turn the heat to warm and keep warm until ready to serve for up to two hours. If needed, just before serving, add additional milk or half and half and fold the potatoes

-Do not over mix, or beat the potatoes for a long time with a mixer. The potatoes will  take on a gluey type texture.  It is almost impossible to over mix the potatoes with a potato masher.  If you don't have one,  I highly recommend buying one.  I've had mine for at least 25-30 years,  and it's still going strong.
Click on the photo below to order yours for just a few dollars:


  1. Brilliant! I'm doing this for sure! Thanks for making the Thanksgiving day load a little lighter!

  2. Thanks for the best tip & recipe for mashed potatoes!!

  3. At a function the other night, they served mini Monte Christo sandwiches as h'orderves. They were delicious. Would you have a recipe? Thanks.

    1. That sounds delicious Leslie! I've made monte cristo's but not as an appetizer!

  4. I'm for sure doing this! Nice to have the potatoes cooking out of the way!

  5. Interested as to why you use red instead of like Yukon potatoes? I Always thought to stay away from red for the best/creamiest mashed potatoes?

    1. Hi Shae, I like russets the very best. But often, I have red potatoes in my home, so I used those for this recipe. I also like the red flecks of potato in my mashed potatoes. I'm not a fan of Yukons for mashed potatoes.

  6. I'm wondering if there is another type of potato you can suggest instead of red potatoes. I live in Japan and I can't find red potatoes anywhere :(

    1. Trev and Shan,
      Are russets available? Russets make awesome mashed potatoes. As the reader above you suggested, many people like Yukons. They are not my favorite. I think almost any type of potato will work. If you want to test the recipe out, just boil a single potato, peel and then mash with a little butter and half and half and test out the texture. Let us know what you decide! I have family in Okinawa and Tokyo. Such a beautiful country!

  7. I did a trial run of these yesterday and they were perfect. I used russet and peeled them and they turned out great. What a fabulous time saver for the big day!

  8. If I want to use russet potatoes, do I still leave skin on or peel them prior to cooking or after they cook and before mashing? Thank you!!

  9. I just found out we will be hosting t.day!! I was looking at recipes for slow cooker potatoes....but didn't really "trust" that they were divine. Seeing the recipe on your blog made my heart so happy today, I trust every recipe you list!!!! I have loved every single thing I have made!!! And I grew up in Farmington and live in WA now--but just knowing you are close to home makes me love reading your blog even more....thanks so much!!!!

  10. How many people will this recipe serve? Thanks!


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